Advice and book recommendations for a young couple

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phdbound2010
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Advice and book recommendations for a young couple

Post by phdbound2010 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:10 pm

Hi!

I am looking for advice that will help my fiancé and me start our life together with good financial habits that not only build wealth for us and our future family but help maintain harmony in our relationship. No small order, I know!
I would be very grateful for both advice, and book recommendations that speak to the task of managing finances in a relationship.
For those of you short on time, don’t bother with the background below. Please just feel free to share some of your book recommendations and tips for a soon to be married couple.
If you have a few minutes, I included some more specific information on our situation so you might be able to share some of your own experience with a similar situation.

Thanks again for maintaining such a supportive and beneficial community.
-D

Background:
I am going to be starting dental school in the fall, and have been out of school for two years. During this time, I have worked full time. I have read the Boglehead’s guides, the Investor’s Manifesto, and some of Bogle’s books. I am sold on the principles and have lived below my means and invested in the most tax efficient and inexpensive way I can (Vanguard target retirement funds in a Roth IRA). I could use some work on budgeting, as I budget in retrospect by looking at my mint.com history more than I plan for the future and develop a plan (I know, I know…this will have to change quickly on a student loan financed budget!).
My wonderful fiancé has 1 year of graduate school left. Her parents have supported her during school, and she hasn’t had the pressure of having to budget or manage money. She is very smart if I do say so myself, but hasn’t taken a huge interest in personal finance. I feel very lucky for many reasons, one of which is that we share a similar attitude towards money and consumption. While she will probably not have a strong interest in managing our finances, she does share my belief that it is important for her to at least know what is going on.

I told her about the wonderful Boglehead community, and she is excited to hear about your book recommendations. Either that, or she thinks that if she reads a few books, I’ll stop blabbering about the greatness of Jack Bogle, index funds, and saving for the future!

We will be getting married in 1 year. Until then, we are living together and splitting most expenses (her parents are sponsoring her portion). I use mint.com, lots of sub accounts at ING Direct, and my bank’s web billpay service to try to keep things as simple as possible. When we get married, and she gets a job, she will no longer be supported by her parents, but her income should make the financial transition very easy to handle. We’ll work out how to use my student loans to supplement her income (teacher’s salary) and other details. I don’t anticipate any issues with this, but would love to hear other people’s experiences with this type of situation.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to learning from your responses.

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nisiprius
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Post by nisiprius » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:36 pm

I really like Andrew Tobias' The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need for everything but the parts on actually investing, which have not aged well. But he is so clear and insightful on all the nuts-and-bolts aspects of day-to-day money management. You really should read it first

For basic investment advice proper, for a simple book Malkiel and Ellis, The Elements of Investing; for a more in-depth book, Malkiel, A Random Walk Down Wall Street. For a compelling advocacy of indexing, John C. Bogle, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.
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Prudent Saver
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Re: Advice and book recommendations for a young couple

Post by Prudent Saver » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:08 pm

On the investing side, I would recommend The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.

You can probably skip the technical chapters if you don't have a professional finance background. But you ABSOLUTELY MUST READ chapter 8 and chapter 20.

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Tyrobi
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Post by Tyrobi » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:08 pm

“The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need” by Larry E. Swedroe

and

"Four Pillar of Investing” by Willian Bernstein
Three-fund portfolio | "Simplicity is the master key to financial success." John C. Bogle

Grt2bOutdoors
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:17 pm

Tyrobi wrote:“The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need” by Larry E. Swedroe

and

"Four Pillar of Investing” by Willian Bernstein
Here's another vote for the two books above, plus the other two mentioned in the other posts.

Also fond of The Little Book of series: 1) Common Sense Investing - John Bogle and 2) Value Investing - Christopher Browne of Tweedy Browne

Remember - no one need pay full price, sales are sooo much better! :D

phdbound2010
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Thanks!...any books for the relationships side

Post by phdbound2010 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:05 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll certainly look into the investment books you all recommended. Any suggestions for books that might appeal to my fiance, who is not as much of a finance nerd as me. The "little book" series sounds like a good start.

Thanks again.

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norookie
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Re: Thanks!...any books for the relationships side

Post by norookie » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:39 am

phdbound2010 wrote:Thanks for the suggestions, I'll certainly look into the investment books you all recommended. Any suggestions for books that might appeal to my fiance, who is not as much of a finance nerd as me. The "little book" series sounds like a good start.

Thanks again.
:D "Coffeehouse investor", and another one , a lite paperback by "The oblivious investor", a poster here. I forget the title but purchased four or five copies for grandchildren in their 20s and 30s. Google "oblivious investor". You'll find it.
" Wealth usually leads to excess " Cicero 55 b.c

minneapples
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Post by minneapples » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:15 am

Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach. My husband and I read this in the lead up to our wedding and discussed it chapter by chapter. I have more financial interest and skill than he does (as he would be the first to tell you) but the exercises in the book helped us to get on the same page about the importance of maxing out retirement accounts and making conscious choices about how to spend money.

I think the book's investment advice in particular is very simplistic, and some of the other books recommended here give better advice on that front. But Smart Couples Finish Rich is the most useful book I've read about financial management as between spouses. Talking about the book, and doing the workbook-y exercises together helped us to establish joint goals that we are both committed to -- it really put us on the same team, so to speak, which is a huge accomplishment considering our very different past experiences with money and different instincts (saver personality v. spending personality). Hubby largely leaves it to me to decide the specifics of how to reach those goals, since I'm more comfortable in the financial realm. So he's felt no need to or interest in reading in more depth about investment strategy -- those types of books are not great "couples" books in our case; they are much more helpful to me, and he then gets the benefit of my research. (I do keep him fully informed about what I'm doing and ask for his input as appropriate, but he's usually happy to defer to me after some explanation of the options I've considered)

FWIW, we have been married 2.5 years and got married in our late 20s, so in the high debt (early stages of mortgage and student-loan repayment) portion of our lives. So probably not too far down the road from where you are now. We have made solid financial progress together and literally never fight about money. Part of that is because he's a dreamboat, but I think some of the credit for that goes to the good groundwork we laid with this book.

Good luck to you both!

DidItMyWay
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Post by DidItMyWay » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:42 pm

minneapples wrote:Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach.
Absolutely agree with this. This is among my top three favorite books about money. I highly recommend it.

DidItMyWay
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Re: Advice and book recommendations for a young couple

Post by DidItMyWay » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:44 pm

phdbound2010 wrote: we share a similar attitude towards money and consumption.
This is key. One of the most important thing, IMHO, is that you are on the same page (which it sounds like you are.)

Best of luck to both of you!

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cinghiale
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Post by cinghiale » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:52 pm

The OP wrote:
I am going to be starting dental school in the fall.
So, shouldn't your user name be dmdbound2011?
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luckyduck288
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Post by luckyduck288 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:06 pm

Along with Random Walk by Malkiel for those more interested in the math of it all, I'd recommend Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People by Jane Bryant Quinn. It was the first book I read on finance and while it's been a while since I read it, I remember the overall life/financial advice was on the mark and very Bogleheadish (she was the initial push that sent me down the indexing path!).

Jonathan

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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:17 pm

Lots of great recommendations so far. I'll add the following:

The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read by Daniel R. Solin. Written a breezy, easy-to-digest style similar to the "Coffeehouse Investor" book, so it's great for anyone who might be put off by the depth and jargon of, say, "Random Walk". (I'd recommend skipping all of parts Two and Three of the book, and only going back to read them if you still need further convincing... which you probably won't.)

Any of the "Dummies" books by Eric Tyson. Maybe Personal Finance for Dummies to start with, and then maybe Mutual Funds for Dummies if you still want more.

Dave Ramsey's books are a mixed bag. They have some good insights on personal finance, budgeting, dealing with money in a marriage (the "nerd" vs. the "free spirit"), and other issues. But he's pretty hardline about some things that others might be a bit more accomodating on (for example, joint checking accounts), and his investing advice is not highly regarded by most (all?) Bogleheads.

You didn't ask about non-financial books, but I'll throw these recommendations in anyway:

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Ten Conversations You Must Have Before You Get Married by Dr. Guy Grenier. (The opening section on how to have the conversations is worth the price of admission all by itself. And yes, one of the conversations is about money!)

JJ
Stay on target...

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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:22 pm

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote: Remember - no one need pay full price, sales are sooo much better! :D
And borrowing it from the library can be even better! 8-)

JJ
Stay on target...

phdbound2010
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Thank You!

Post by phdbound2010 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:29 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I got one of "The Oblivious Investor's" books (his name is Mike Piper...very well written and extremely short...there should be more pamphlet ebooks of this quality). I'll also order the other "couples" book that everyone recommended.

As for my username, I suppose it isn't very timeless. I did create it in 2010, and I planned on getting a PhD then. I still plan on getting a PhD while in dental school.

Thanks again!

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